Varsity football has no trouble disposing of Leander

Varsity football hosted the Leander Lions on Friday night and took care of business, winning 59-20 behind an explosive running performance. The seniors played in their last home game as Chaparrals, and head coach Todd Dodge was reminiscent afterward.

“The seniors are a very special bunch,” Dodge said. “I’ve never seen a group grow from 54 people as freshman to 64 as seniors. That just doesn’t happen often.”

Nine different players ran the football, with senior Nakia Watson totaling the most yards, 55, on the ground. Senior Steven Crider scored 2 touchdowns as well.

The quarterbacks rotated for most of the game. Both sophomore Kirkland Michaux and senior Grayson Burks came off the bench while junior Taylor Anderson started the game, throwing two touchdown passes to receiver sophomore Mason Mangum and one other to receiver senior Jake Ramos.

“We’re still building,” junior kicker Gabriel Lozano said. “Every rep counts, everything is practice leading up to the playoffs.”

The Chaps only needed two plays, a 33-yard run by Nakia and a 17-yard touchdown pass to Mason to get on the board early. From there, Westlake put up 52 more points to conclude the first half. Leander scored one more touchdown and two field goals, which made the final score of the game 59-20.

Backup kicker Nima Miri got some more reps tonight off the bench, converting on another PAT to put his season total to five.

“Last year he was having a rough time out there.” Lozano said. “I feel like he really committed and grew as a kicker this year. I always give him the advice that you want to hear, that it’s more of a mental thing. I think that has helped him a lot, and I’m really happy to see him go out there and do his thing.”

As the playoffs lurk closer, Dodge is still focused on the next task at hand, Vista Ridge.

“The mindset is Vista Ridge next week,” Dodge said. “The mindset is to win an out-right District championship, and we don’t want to share it. It would be the first 10-0 regular season in almost 15 years here. It’s very important to us to go finish the regular season the right way, then we will think about the playoffs.”